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Do the Thornton’s Own or Rent?

Every time I’ve seen North and South, I’ve always wondered about the following thing, and I was hoping we could get to the bottom of it.

Marlborough Mills is owned by Mr Bell and is then passed on to Margaret Hale.

The Thornton’s are renting out the property from the landlord.

We know the machines inside the mill are the property of John Thornton, as he has trouble paying them off.

The thing I’ve wondered about is the house.

We know it’s a place Mrs Thornton is very proud of.

It’s located next to the mill, therefore it would logically be part of Bell’s property.

Not many mill owners would invest their money in a home so close to an industrial area, often settling on the outskirts of a city.

When bad things start happening to John, he asks his mother to not be too upset about losing the house.

My question is:

Do you think the Thornton’s built the house, or was it part of the mill?

Could Mrs Thornton could be sad about losing the house because of the effort put into the decoration and the need to downsize, or  maybe because they are losing ownership of it?

Tell me what you think 🙂

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